Woodbury County Supervisors delay decision on security staffing - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Woodbury County Supervisors delay decision on security staffing


"Allowing people to have guns creates a nightmare for everybody," said Sheriff Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff's Office.

Last week, Judge Duane Hoffmeyer released an order that would allow civilians to bring in weapons into the courthouse.

"If you, the Board of Supervisors, want to take legal responsibility for maintaining security in these public areas, that if you made that request, I was obligated to grant it," said Hon. Duane Hoffmeyer.

Woodbury County Supervisors asked the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office to oblige.

Tuesday afternoon, supervisors and the sheriff met to talk about the cost of additional security to comply with the judge's order.

Sheriff Dave Drew believes there is no need for guns in the courthouse.

"If we are providing the security for the building, then there is really no sense in continuing to bring a gun in," said Drew.

He adds the order means the Sheriff's Office will have to provide more staff to secure the courthouse, Law Enforcement Center, and Trosper-Hoyt Building.

"The only way to enforce in a manner that is likely to keep weapons out of the building, or off of the designated floors, is our physical presence," said Drew.

And adding more staff comes with a big price tag.

"If they walk that back, and ask the judge to rescind [the order], and keep the ban in place, those costs could be dropped considerably if they all go into one building," said Drew.

But, Supervisor Jeremy Taylor says the additional security at Trosper-Hoyt and the Law Enforcement Center is not a factor in the total cost.

"To incur a million dollars in taxpayers expense to two unrelated buildings, and they say its because of this building [Woodbury County Courthouse], I just don't think its true," said Supervisor, Jeremy Taylor. "Again, I understand where the sheriff is coming from, he is trying to do his duties, but I think we need to be up-front with the public."

Supervisors will reconvene on Tuesday, February 20, to make a final decision on the manner.

Judge Hoffmeyer's order allows civilians to carry guns in parts of the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth floors of the Woodbury County Courthouse.

Guns would be banned on the second, third and fourth floors of the courthouse, which include courtrooms.

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